Introduction to Volume 8

volume 8 introduction image

After a long hiatus, Tell Your True Tale returns.

It took a while, but promoting my new book, Dreamland, and, while doing that, a heart attack, took up most of my time.

But now we’re back and with a terrific volume of stories.

Four new writers join us this time around.

Cristian Vasquez tells us his story of the day the L.A. riots broke out – a vivid depiction from a cramped duplex in South-Central.

Jessica Gonzalez tells us the story of her mother’s brother drowning at the beach and the changes that wrought in her family.

David Fallon writes of two homeless he met while working to find housing for both in Hollywood.

Tené Harris recounts a trip to east Texas to visit an aunt who illuminates a previously unknown part of the family’s history.

We have stories, meanwhile, from six TYTT veterans.

Fabiola Manriquez tells us of the domestic battle between her and her dying mother. Celia Viramontes continues her stories of her grandfather, Don Luis, this time with a great tale about his purchase of a battery-powered radio in El Norte.

Monique Quintero writes the story of her grandmother, a curandera, as she lay dying. Susanna Fránek writes of her years in Spain working as a belly dancer.

Sylvia Castañeda adds the story of her aunt, trying to find her way as a woman in a tiny village in Zacatecas. And Jian Huang continues her sagas of growing up a Chinese immigrant in South-Central, this time with a story about a girl she met at the rough motel where her father pulled 24-hour shifts.

We continue to benefit from the visionary sponsorship of the good folks at the L.A. County Library, who have this time around also funded an online editing service and a copy editor. Thus we counted on the online editing help of Jeff Gottlieb, Pulitzer-Prize winning former LA Times reporter, and Kathy Gosnell, former LA Times copy editor.

Once again, I thank Daniel Hernandez, director of the Chicano Resource Center at the East L.A. Library, where these workshops have been held, and who was adventurous enough to allow them to first take place back in 2013.

Mary Yogi has been hugely helpful with the digital presentation of TYTT at the library’s website. Thanks to Jesse Lanz, director of Adult and Digital Services for the library system, for his cheerful and energetic support of these workshops.

Eric Franco Aguilar, a TYTT alum, designed yet another terrific cover.

Enjoy this eighth volume of Tell Your True Tale: East Los Angeles stories. Also, check out the county library’s page dedicated to the project: http://www.colapublib.org/tytt/

Then, as always, we hope you’ll come write a story of your own.

Sam Quinones